What is at the core of a successful business model? Innovation and agility

In business, entrepreneurs are often presented with a common misconception, the notion that the key to success is simply a strong idea and a high-quality product. While these certainly remain highly important, consumer values and expectations are evolving. The market is shifting, and when faced with historic levels of competition, it is vital that businesses reassess their approach and focus on evolution to stay ahead of the competition.

The ability to adapt effectively and stay innovative has become paramount to success for virtually all businesses, irrespective of their industry, size or market share. Taking the hospitality sector as an example, many might assume that taste is what primarily attracts consumers. In reality, many of the most successful food and beverage businesses are those doing something fresh or new to establish themselves in the market, such as staying at the cutting edge of branding and food trends or introducing attractive loyalty schemes and deals.

But why exactly do innovation and agility hold such importance?

Creating an adaptable and agile business model

Agility allows businesses to adapt with the required speed to rapidly shifting market conditions. As any business leader operating over the past few years knows well, this is utterly essential in an entirely unpredictable market.

As such, agility has become a vital ingredient in any modern, effective business model. Regardless of their size or market position businesses who cannot effectively and rapidly respond to an array of unforeseen obstacles and seismic market adjustments risk being left behind – which in today’s market likely means failure.

There is no better example of the cruciality of agility in business than the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business landscape. Indeed, over 400,00 UK businesses went under in the space of just twelve months, but some businesses were able to adjust successfully to the new normal, and even thrive.

For instance, retailers that embraced ecommerce, offices that dove into remote working and hospitality businesses that started a food delivery offering all demonstrated the level of agility required to keep their business going and were ultimately best positioned to survive.

Becoming an agile business is dependent on the implementation of a number of practices – only then will businesses gain the flexibility that success necessitates. Constant evolution and improvement, willingness to take risks with development and fostering a working environment that values collaboration and innovation are all essential.

Staying ahead through innovation and embracing technology

Most of the world’s most exciting, talked-about companies are famed for their capacity to innovate. A commitment to staying ahead of the curve enables businesses to be best-in-class and become industry trailblazers.

Embracing technology is one of the most effective tools in becoming innovative. One of the richest resources businesses have on offer is data; every business generates some form of customer data, and its analysis can reveal some eye-opening insights about customer behaviour.

Such insights can be harnessed to optimise operations and marketing, for example to create personalised promotions to promote brand loyalty, help identify operational bumps that need smoothing over, such as inefficient use of resources, or even to guide future strategy and product innovation.

Peckwater Brands uses data to examine customer behaviours, for instance looking at takeaway orders in certain geographic areas to identify market gaps, then select the optimal virtual food brand for a partner kitchen in that region to take advantage of that underserved market share.

Optimal use of digital platforms can also be a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase revenue and promote growth through innovation. A solid digital ecosystem that can collate and simplify various customer experience-enhancing elements, such as loyalty programmes and personalised payment solutions, adds value to a business’ commercial offering.

An innovative, agile business model is invaluable in smoothly guiding businesses over a plethora of unexpected road bumps. Ultimately, technology is instrumental to the implementation of such a model, enabling businesses to build an agile culture and inspire positive progression. During a time in which consumer spending power is dampened and businesses are battling countless challenges, the business world’s most innovative and agile organisations will be uniquely positioned to rise above difficulties and thrive.